I wanted to do a 2nd New Year's entry just for Dawson. He's come so far and had a lot happen in the last year. It's too common for siblings of cancer patients to be lost in the shadow of their sibling and we've been working hard to not let that happen! So here is Dawson's year.
January we got a tip from a lady in our Special Ed support group about constipation. Apparently children with Autism commonly have bowel issues. He was becoming irritable, not eating, etc. After hearing that we got him to the Dr the very next day and discovered that sure enough, his entire bowels were obstructed. So most of the month was concentrated on bowels. Such a fun topic to think about all day. ;) Thankfully we got him all flushed out and he was a much happier kid!
Dawson loved our busy weeks. He went to school Mon, Wed, Thurs for a couple hours a day and rode the bus. We went to Special Ed support groups on both Monday and Wednesday evenings, plus ECFE on Thursday evenings. It was a great opportunity to play with other kids and he loved getting out of the house in the winter.
We also started his diagnosis process. First Neurology, genetics testing, Psychology appointment and that finally brought him to a diagnosis of PDD-NOS. Which is the Autism spectrum, they just didn't know where he was on it. There's Aspergers, Autism and unspecified, all which have different levels to them. This is what they wrote up about him at the beginning of the year. The red is my comments now.
Does not appear interested in peers He now loves having kids over!
Inconsistant / does not respond to his name He always does now!Takes items from adults and peers and does not look at the person He doesn't as much anymore and he does look at people nowPlays by himself, actively avoids situations
Does not imitate when imitation is desired (he will on his own terms, but not when asked)
Responds negatively or walks away from requests or directives Doing much betterLimited joint attention in activities
Unusual eye regard Much better!
Does not use words to communicate wants and needs He uses lots of words now!
May label an item such as car, but not for communicative intent Much better, he talks about itemsJust started to point to items He not only points, but he asks for things by name too!
Repeats the words of others on occasion
Limited amount of social language (hi-bye) He talks all the time!Limited response to questions, basic wh-questions (who, what, where, why)
Making sounds just for the purpose of making sounds I haven't noticed this in many months!Does not respond to yes/no questions He does all the time now
Restricted, Repetitive or Stereotypical (of Autism) Behaviors:
Difficulty with unstructured time - wanders He does well keeping himself busy nowShort attention span Still does, but it's better than it was
Throws objects, sometimes for no apparent reason such as anger I haven't seen that much lately either
Play skills limited to cars, more interested in watching them than driving and playing He has quite a few things he likes playing with now. He actually never plays with cars anymore!Difficulties with transitions, may be resistive to going with schedule Does so much better now!Putting items into his mouth such as stickers He still does but not close to the obsessiveness it was before.
An intense preoccupation with electonical toys or devices He does still prefer his electronic things.
This is why I love blogging! Looking back and seeing all the progress is simply amazing!!
In March he got another little brother! He did much better this time around, having been there before. With Tyler he didn't want to hold the baby or have much to do with him until he was a little more active. He sat right down and accepted holding Gabriel! :)
In April we found out Tyler relapsed and then Dawson's world changed again. His therapies ended, he ended school early. He spent April 24-27th at Grandma's house, then joined us at the hospital on the 28th once we were settled in. He loved being with us!
He still loved being in the room with us. He spent lots of time in Tyler's crib watching movies and playing with toys. He was so attached to him and gave lots of hugs.
He spent lots of time lounging around the hospital. He loved eating cheese balls, a new favorite.
In July he finally got to the top of the list for Speech Therapy at Children's. He went once a week for an hour and all I had to do was drop him off since I was in the building still. He did great there and learned a lot in the short time he was able to go. He went all month, but in August we had to stop Speech since we moved to the other hospital. He worked on things at home and the hospital with me though. He learned how to write his letters and numbers and picked up on it very fast! With the help of Starfall.com he learned his letter sounds and some simple words too, among other things.
July 11th, Dawson turned 4! He's getting so big!